The Gospel of John. Chapter 21: The Divine Person

John 21  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
I see more than ever a divine Person in John, and, now especially in chapter 8; so that it is the divine Person that, with the Father, gives testimony to who the Christ is. All this gives a very peculiar and very instructive character to John's gospel: the Word made flesh (chap. 1: 14). Before that it was simply the divine nature in itself, and a new nature in us needed to receive the manifestation of it. Then we come to the Person of the Word made flesh. Our connection with Him is brought in, and His work in its full result in the world, and for us, as present and permanent blessing. We receive of His fullness; He is the Lamb of God; He baptizes with the Holy Ghost. Then His actual connection with the world (indeed, with all things), in the government of God.
Note, the Person of Christ, the Word made flesh, is seen in its fullness, and we are seen now (after His work and departure) in connection with and receiving from it. This is present consciousness. What follows is testimony as to what, when the testimony was given, was not yet accomplished. But His Person runs all through.
I just add, chapter 2 completes chapter 1, save verses 23-25, which belong to the next chapter, which should begin with " But " or " Now." Then the work in us is taken up, and the work for us, from chapter 1:11, 12, and 29, 36. But the Person of the Son is returned to, and withal its definitively testing power. Two points are referred to here: He has " seen and heard "; that is, what is divine and heavenly. As a Man His testimony is God's; for the Spirit is not there in measure.
In chapter 4 we have the commencement of His public ministry, which is a breach with Judaism. In chapter 5 we have the divine Quickener; Judge as Son of Man. In chapter 6 the Man come down from heaven, and dying, and going up where He was before; again showing the divine Person in the Man. In chapter 5 the divine Quickener is the Son of Man, and judges; that is, will hereafter. In chapter 6 the Son of Man, bread, and flesh and blood, for us; ascends up where He (now Son of Man) was before: chapter 5 is divine, and future; chapter 6 human, and present in grace. But if ascended He was not now for the world; and this brings in the Holy Ghost, so that chapter 7 goes with chapter 6; only the effect postponed, and the Spirit given to believers meanwhile.
The development of the giving of the Holy Ghost is from chapter 14, consequent on His going up on high; chapter 13 being the water part, on His going away, and leaving the world; though the main washing could take place while He was here in a certain aspect (this is in chapter 15), for they had received the word: chapter 15 is exceptional, what He was then in connection with the Remnant of Israel, still as Son (save the last verses). Otherwise it is very striking how everywhere He is a divine Person in and as Man, as we have noted in John 17. It is remarkable that we have not properly Pentecost in John. Passover is alluded to (chap. 6), but then, Prophet and refusing to be King, He takes the place of Priest. The Holy Ghost is referred to on the eighth day of tabernacles, when He could not show Himself to the world; but it is as dwelling in us, and outflowing.
From chapter 14 we have the Comforter fully taught about, but no connection with Pentecost. In chapter 6 He comes down, and goes up where He was before. But substantially it is Christ on earth, a divine Person, a Man there, which is taught, that Passover and tabernacles present. The Holy Ghost comes in, however, fully by the by as a substitute for Christ, another Comforter. This only points out that the subject of the gospel as to Christ is on earth. It is personal. The Holy Ghost is His substitute here. Hence, even, I will send Him to you from the Father.
It is not the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of God. That is official glory, not personal simply: that we have in the other gospels. He is the Lord there; and this place ever true to faith, yet in testimony confirmed and present power closed with those who were witnesses to His exaltation. And so did the Church, looked at as an immediate whole. The Comforter abides forever. In John we know it was individual.